David Berlinski Writer, Thinker, and Raconteur

Articles

Following is a sampling of some classic essays and shorter articles written by David Berlinski. A printed collection of essays is available in The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (DI Press, 2009).

Articles at Discovery.org

Right of Reply: Our Response to Jerry Coyne

Jerry Coyne has offered a response in the pages of Quillette to David Gelernter’s provocative article, “Giving Up Darwin.” Gelernter rejected the standard model of neo-Darwinian evolution for a simple reason: he looked at three pieces of scientific evidence that appeared to be incompatible with that model.

The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements

In this brief, accessible foray, popular math/science writer Berlinski (Newton’s Gift) breathes life into an ancient mathematician and the world of axioms and theorems he created — a geometric world that became the basis for much of modern math, from analytic geometry to the idea of curved space-time. To Berlinski, Euclid’s fourth-century B.C., 13-volume Elements is a manifestation of his Read More ›

The Dang Thing

John Derbyshire and the movie he hasn't seen.
In an essay published recently on National Review Online, John Derbyshire has declared that the documentary Expelled contains a blood libel against Western Civilization. His is an exercise of striking vulgarity, the more so since, as he insouciantly admits, he has not “seen the dang thing.” A blood libel, one might recall, refers to the charge that the Jewish people are irredeemably stained Read More ›

The Scientific Embrace of Atheism

At sometime after the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first entered space, stories began to circulate that he had been given secret instructions by the Politburo. Have a look around, they told him. Suitably instructed, Gagarin looked around. When he returned without having seen the face of God, satisfaction in high circles was considerable. The commissars having vacated the scene, it Read More ›

Copernicus Stages A Comeback

Special to the London Gazette
More than sixty years after the famous Galileo “The Earth it Moves” trial in Rome, Copernicus is in the news again, this time in the form of a so-called theory of universal gravitation (or UG, as it has come to be known). Headquartered at the Royal Society, a think tank in London funded by well-heeled royalist donors, members of the Read More ›

Our Silent Partners

We are animals in our appetites, and animals again in our instincts and emotions. We are animals in biology. Blood is blood, tissue is tissue, and cells are cells; and when everything is stripped away, we are animals in the organization of our genes, mindful now that but for a few alterations of the human genome, we might well be Read More ›

An Open Letter to the Amazing Randi

Dear Amazing Randi: I just read your widely publicized letter to the Smithsonian about its decision to air The Privileged Planet, Discovery Institute’s film on intelligent design. You find it “impossible to comprehend” why the Smithsonian has chosen to screen such a film. And, I see that you are willing to pay the Smithsonian Institute $20,000 so that they don’t Read More ›

The Strength of Natural Selection in the Wild

Like Hell itself, Darwin’s theory of evolution is often said to be protected by walls that are at least seven miles thick, in that it is not only true, but unassailable. It is a considerable irony, therefore, that some of the most cogent criticisms of Darwin’s theory are the result of work undertaken by very orthodox members of the biological Read More ›

The Soul of Man Under Physics

What is it? A sense of unease, perhaps, some persistent feeling, as the century slips into the darkness, that the larger structures of scientific thought and sentiment are disembodied, disorderly somehow. The feeling is familiar, like the taste of tea. A long moment in our collective experience is coming to an end.

Academic Extinction

More and More, Evolutionary Theory is Becoming Nothing More than Darwinian Mantra
A prominent academic regards it as quite natural to be dismayed on those occasions when his views are disputed.

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A One-Man Clade

Had Stephen Meyer better appreciated the tools of modern cladistics, Nick Matzke believes, he would not have drawn the conclusions that he did in his book Darwin's Doubt, or argued as he had.

A Graduate Student Writes

Having for years defended Darwin’s theory, Nick Matzke has determined to learn something about it as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, an undertaking in the right spirit but the wrong order.

Responding to Stephen Fletcher’s Views in the Times Literary Supplement on the RNA World

To the Editor The Times Literary Supplement The RNA World Sir: Having with indignation rejected the assumption that the creation of life required an intelligent design, Mr Fletcher has persuaded himself that it has proceeded instead by means of various chemical scenarios. These scenarios all require intelligent intervention. In his animadversions, Mr Fletcher suggests nothing so much as a man disposed to denounce alcohol while sipping sherry. The RNA world to which Mr Fletcher has pledged his allegiance was introduced by Carl Woese, Leslie Orgel and Francis Crick in 1967. Mystified by the appearance in the contemporary cell of a chicken in the form of the nucleic acids, and an egg in the form of the proteins, Woese, Orgel and Read More ›

An Open Letter to Donald Prothero

Hey Don — I want you should do me a favor. I noticed that you put up this real negative review of Steve Meyer’s Signature in the Cell on Amazon. I want to tell you, I loved the stuff about the slow fuse and all. It brought back memories of the time Boom Boom Salacio was a Senior Fellow at the DI. The Putznagel Salami Fire? That was Boom Boom. We all miss the Big Guy at the DI. But here’s the thing. The moment your review hit the stands, bang! sales of Meyer’s book go through the roof. I mean you’re taking Boom Boom to a whole new level. So I was thinking that maybe you could give my Read More ›

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